Historic Canyons, Railways and Reaction Ferries

Many Prince George residents have lived in this area for a long time but have never explored in their own backyard.  Here is a perfect opportunity to learn about our history and view some of the most iconic historical sites in the region.  Reaction ferries, Canyons, Railways, Goat Island, Bollards, Rapids, and hopefully some local wildlife will make this a memorable trip! May 15 or June 17, 2017

Reaction Ferry
The tour will commence with a 30 minute jet boat ride up the Nechako River to the site of the Miworth Reaction Ferry. In Miworth two hulls of the ferry still remain, plus a wooden derrick tower. This ferry operated from 1922 to the mid 1940’s. Reaction ferries were common in the interior for crossing many of our river systems. The ferries consist of two pontoon hulls and a cable across the river. The energy of the river current is used to angle the pontoons across the river. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit this historic site.

Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Bridge
From the Miworth Reaction Ferry site, we will journey to the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Bridge. This iconic Prince George feature is over 100-years old and is still the longest railway bridge in B.C. While viewing the Bridge from below, Jeff will provide a historic perspective of the bridge. On this stretch of our journey a stop will also be made at Goat Island, where this island’s contribution to the building of the GTP Railway Bridge and the stories of Jim Johnson’s goat farm will be told.

Fort George Canyon
The last destination on our tour is Fort George Canyon where the sternwheelers of the early 1900’s attempted to navigate and winch themselves through the rock outcropped islands and fast flowing rapids and whirlpools of this narrow pass in the Fraser River. We will learn and experience why it was so difficult to bring these boats through this extremely treacherous section of the river. Don’t miss this chance to experience the rich history of our local rivers!

Webb Bennett – Kitselas Canyon Historic Site on the Skeena River

The Kitselas Canyon Historic site and home of the Kitselas First Nation is 15 minutes east of Terrace on the banks of the Skeena River.  The highlights include the longhouses, petroglyphs, totem poles, lookout, dugout canoe, interpretive signs and the flora and fauna.  None of these highlights would be complete without the interpretive knowledge and background provided by the curator Webb Bennett.

Webb is a wealth of knowledge and can tell you anything about the history of the area.  He shares his knowledge and shows us the sites as we wind along a path through the beautiful hemlock forest.  He talks about the totem poles and longhouses and how totems are a way for the Kitselas and other first nations to tell their stories as their history isn’t written down anywhere. The experience at the site is hands on as Webb  mentions “It’s a living cultural centre”.  The tour of the longhouses greatly benefits from this belief as the participants can hold and touch the various items on display to get a better feel of the work that went into making them.

We visit the Kitselas Canyon Historic site on a few of our tours.

Skeena River Historic Journey August 1-6, 2017

Ghost Towns of Northwest BC August 20-26, 2017

For more information

For tour information

Kitselas Canyon Historic site UNBC tour
Our transportation to the Canyon
Kitselas Canyon Historic site UNBC tour
Webb Bennett talking about the Kitselas History
Kitselas Canyon Historic site UNBC tour
The hands on living cultural Centre of Kitselas Canyon
Kitselas Canyon Historic site UNBC tour at the longhouse
Webb explaining the crest to our group
Kitselas Canyon Historic site UNBC tour
Webb Bennett talking to one of our tour groups

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Top 10 Derelict Boats on the Northwest Coast

The lower Skeena River and the north coast  is home to  many weathered derelict fishing boats that have been abandoned or washed up on shore.  They are truly a photographers paradise to capture that amazing photo unlike any other.  Each boat has a one of kind story and history behind them from salmon fishing, gillnetting, crabbing or transportation. This seldom visited area has many boats lining the shores and just takes a keen eye and some tips on where to look.  Here is our top 10 list with a couple of honorable mentions.  If you know any specific history on any of these boats we would love to hear about them.

To see these boats and to have a chance to get up close and personal with them check out our “Canneries of the North Coast” tour where we visit these boats and many more.

https://blogs.unbc.ca/unbcexptour/canneries-of-the-northcoast/

#1

Oona River boat on top ten abandoned boats list
This Oona Boat river boat is a true classic with its bright yellow paint.

#2

The Hilo crabbing boat of Port Essington
The Hi -Lo of Port Essington, What a resting place! The Lyngby Sedge provides a beautiful backdrop for this inner coastal crabbing boat.

#3

Old abandoned boat on the shores of the Skeena River Cannery Row
This old boat lies on the banks of the Skeena River’s historic Cannery Row

#4

Oona River baot as seen on the Canneries of the North Coast Tour
This boat has seen better days but is still able to cast a beautiful shadow.

#5

Osland classic wooden boat on Canneries of the North Coast Tour
This Osland “Classic” is beautiful wooden boat just waiting for someone to take its picture!

#6

This abandoned boat lies on the shores of Lelu Island as a part of the Canneries of the North Coast Tour
When I think of “Derelict” boat this is what comes to mind!

#7

Porcher Island derelict boat
This Porcher Island floating hulk is one of the most utilitarian of them all!

#8

Another Oona River Boat
A beautiful reflection of a beautiful Oona River Boat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9

A classic derelict boat
Nothing like a closeup of a classic fishing boat! this one probably has alot of epic stories

#10

If only the Duke could speak
The Duke! With a name like that it must have cruised the open water with pride!

Honorable Mention!

If it only had the other half it might have made the top 10
Hard to tell exactly how old this on is but well on it sway to being a Skeena River Relic!

Grizzly Bear Stalking

On our Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery tour we use jet boat son a few of the days to travel on the ocean to remote coastal estuaries that are filled with thick carpets of Lyngby Sedge.  We use jet boats so that we can maneuver through all the side channels and that intertwine amongst the estuary.  The shallow draft of the jet boat allows us to pole or use electric motors to slowly stalk and maneuver the boat into position to see the bears without scaring them.  We know the bears come out every day to feed so sometimes its just a matter of time before they decide to show themselves.  At the end of the bear viewing day we then use the louder jet boat engines to cruise of the river on a sightseeing tour. This year’s tour is June 6-10, 2017 starting in Terrace, BC.

Looking for Grizzlies
Stalking Grizzlies in the estuary
A mom and cub feeding on the sedge grass
Looking for bears in a coastal estuary
A family of bears posing for the camera

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Adventure Tour Guide Fred Seiler

Many of our Adventure Tours through Continuing Studies focus on accessing remote and rarely visited sites and to do this we utilize Jet Boats.  Running a jet boat with guests who are relying on their guide to bring them back safely after each days adventure requires someone with a vast amount of experience and skill.  For our tours in Northwest BC we utilize the services of Fred Seiler who has thousands of hours of jet boating and experience exploring the rivers of this magnificent region.  His past experience in delivering eco tours and commercial jet boat services is invaluable.  Fred also teaches a Jet Boat safety course for us and has also taught me a vast amount about the safe driving of jet boats and shared all kinds of information about areas to explore and adventure in Northwest BC.  Here are a  few photos of Fred in action on our tours.

Fred Seiler calling wolves up the river valley
Fred Seiler helping a guest with some photography tips
Fred getting ready to navigate the river with his jet boat
Fred calling wolves
Fred running his boat up the river
On the lookout for feeding Grizzly Bears
Fred Seiler explaining the importance of a Rice Root to the local bears

Grizzlies and Lyngby Sedge

For coastal Grizzly Bears one of the most important spring food sources is the Lyngby sedge (Carex lyngbyei).  This sedge grows in the intertidal zone and can tolerate fresh and salt water. The bears feast on this abundant spring vegetation because of its high crude protein content as it contains 25% raw protein. One of the easiest ways to determine a Grizzly Bears activity in an area is to look at the tops of the Lyngby Sedge.  If they are flat on the top instead of pointed then this would indicate that a bear has eaten the tops off.  The next step is too see if the tops are still green which would indicate that the bear has just recently eaten the sedge or is there a brown stain or color to the top which indicates that some time has passed since the bear ate them.

The estuaries and coastline with sedges in the  spring months are definitely areas where one would begin to look for Grizzly Bears as they begin their summer long process of fattening up.

To see these bears in their natural habitat feeding in a sea of green sedge our UNBC “Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour” is an excellent way to visit very remote locations and watch these magnificent creatures photograph them.  June 6-10, 2017 starting in Terrace, BC

Grizzly enjoying a meal in the Sedge Grass
Grizzly Bear eating Lyngby Sedge

 

The Tragedy of Wilfred Sheldon Teabo

One of the highlights to the Ghost Town of Anyox is the Graveyard.  It is now overgrown with mature trees but amazingly little else grows under the trees as the area suddenly opens up and is devoid of vegetation once entering the cemetery.  On my first visit to Anyox when we did a reconnaissance trip to source out unique things to see fro the guests.  I was with the owner of the town and it had been many years since he had been to the cemetery.  He had a basic idea where it was but it still took us two hours of bushwacking to find the site.  That is how seldom visited this place is.  We then spent two days brushing out a path for the guests to walk into the graveyard and keep it cleared every year.

One of the first headstones you will see is that of 8 year old Wilfred Sheldon Teabo.  He was a young boy who tragically drowned in the toxic waters of Fall Creek.  Read the caption below from the book “The Town that got Lost” for more information on his death.

The cemetery is about one km for the ocean.  The bottom historic photo show the cemetery and the faint white crosses at the base of the hill.

We still have a few spots left in our two day Anyox tour June 3-4, 2017 or June 10-11, 2017. Don’t miss an opportunity to visit one of BC’s largest towns from the early 1900’s

The gravesite of Wilfred Teabo at Anyox
Caption about Wilfred Teabo from the book the “Town that Got Lost”

 

Anyox cemetery crosses at the end of the street
The Town that got lost Book

Be a part of a Sturgeon Research Project

One of the most unique research projects in Northern BC is now available for the community to take part or for professional development purposes for biologists.  The White Sturgeon Biology Tour in partnership with Lheidli Tenneh fisheries allows individuals to experience the searching, catching, observing and recording of white sturgeon on the upper Fraser River.  One of the first techniques that the guests are exposed to is the use of radio telemetry in tracking previously tagged White Sturgeon.  By using an antenna and receiver we can pin point the location of these prehistoric creatures. The tour is conducted in jet boats as we boat to known holding locations of the fish and then use angling and set lines to catch these fish for the research project.

May 4-5, 2017 Prince George, BC

The radio Telemetry Receiver
Lheidli Tenneh Fisheries Technician looking for sturgeon
The Telemetry receiver in action
Another Tagged Upper Fraser White Sturgeon

Grizzly Bear Adventure Program

Are you a photographer or adventurer who likes to explore off the beaten path. Our “Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour” is a tour uses jet boats, ocean boats and seaplanes to access some of Northwest BC’s most inaccessible and remote Grizzly Bear viewing areas.  Imagine being poled through narrow channels surrounded by fields of sedge grass and waiting in anticipation around each bend for the perfect photo of of a grizzly bear in its natural habitat. We utilize jet boats and ocean boats maneuver the guests into that perfect location for bear viewing.  Imagine staying overnight in a lodge in the midst of a grizzly bear sanctuary where the bears are only minutes away.  Imagine jet boating through narrow ocean inlets to remote estuaries where feeding grizzly bears go about there daily fill of lygby sedge.  You do not want to miss this opportunity view, photograph and explore northwest BC in search of the Grizzly Bear. Photos credit @simonsees

Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour

Grizzly Bear beachcombing
Grizzly Bear eating Lygby sedge
Coastal Grizzly Bear
Family of Grizzly Bears exploring the coastline
Young Grizzly Bear

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The Anyox Dam Then and Now!

The Anyox Dam Then and Now!

Our Two day “Anyox – The town that got Lost” tour June 3-4, 2017 and June 10-11, 2017  will visit this iconic structure that is till standing almost 100 years later.  It was Canada’s tallest dam at one time and is still an amazing structure.   Don’t miss your chance to be on of the few people to visit this iconic structure.

The dam was completed in 1923 and was built by hauling pallets of concrete bags up a single guauge railway line operated by electric hoists. The dam is 635 ft long and 137 ft high and 28 000 acre ft of water capacity. In 1923 before the dam was complete heavy rains caused a landslide above the dam and the debris from the slide plugged the penstocks and the water level rose to dangerous levels so much so that they had to evacuate people living in the lower parts of Anyox below. The water eventually subsided and the dam was completed.

Building the Anyox Dam
Building the Anyox Dam
The Anyox Dam today!
Aerial View of the Anyox Dam

 

Anyox dam
The Anyox dam

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